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Giants kept at bay in Game 2
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 7      3   Final
10/03/2002 10:19 pm ET 
 Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 Giants 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 7 0
 Braves 1 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 X 7 8 0
Giants kept at bay in Game 2
Rueter hit hard as Braves even series
By Josh Rawitch / MLB.com

Barry Bonds homered to right off John Smoltz to lead off the ninth inning Thursday. (Roberto Borea/AP)
ATLANTA -- The Giants spent the last 24 hours talking about how they never came here looking for a split, that they wanted and expected to win Games 1 and 2 of their National League Division Series.

That idea went out the window early in Game 2 Thursday night as the Braves chased Giants starter Kirk Rueter in the fourth inning and evened the series with a 7-3 victory at Turner Field.

Rueter lacked control throughout his short stint, falling behind in the count to the first five hitters he faced, and when he did find the strike zone, his pitches simply got crushed. The left-hander gave up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits, including homers on back-to-back pitches in the second inning, and failed to retire a batter in the fourth.

"It was one of those games," said Rueter, who was making his third postseason appearance and second start. "I threw some fastballs [inside] tonight that they laid off of. When I threw the fastball away, they hit it. I thought I made some good pitches."

In the first inning, Julio Franco drew a one-out walk, advanced to second base on a groundout and scored on Chipper Jones' ground ball through the hole at shortstop, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead. Ordinarily, that would not be headline news but for the fact that it marked the first time the Giants had trailed in a game since the first frame on Sept. 20, a span of 80 innings.

      J.T. Snow   /   1B
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 209
Bats/Throws: L/L

More info:
Player page
Stats
Splits
Hit chart
Giants site
J.T. Snow's second opposite-field homer of the year, his second career postseason blast, tied the game for the Giants in the top of the second. It was Snow's first home run since Aug. 4 at Pittsburgh, a drought of 148 at-bats, and also marked the first homer in the postseason for any Giant since Snow's dramatic pinch-hit, game-tying, three-run shot in Game 2 of the NLDS in 2000.

"I wish we could've played better tonight than we did," said Snow, who pumped his fist in excitement while rounding first base. "A loss is a loss. We didn't want to settle for coming back and winning one, but we are, so you accept it and we get to go back to our place now."

Atlanta surged ahead again in the bottom of the second with consecutive homers by Javy Lopez and Vinny Castilla. After a visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti, Rueter (0-1) allowed a bloop double down the right-field line by Mark DeRosa and a run-scoring single to Rafael Furcal that gave the Braves a 4-1 lead.

Back to WorldSeries.com Meanwhile, Kevin Millwood was breezing through the Giants lineup. Snow's homer was one of just three hits the right-hander allowed in handing the Giants their first loss in the past 10 games, dating back to the regular season. Millwood (1-0) went right after several San Francisco sluggers, fanning Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds in each of their first at-bats while recording seven strikeouts in six innings.

"Well, he did definitely what they thought he was going to do," said Reggie Sanders, who had one hit after Millwood had left the game. "He's definitely been hot for the last month or two and he didn't change anything tonight. He had his fastball working very well, he had his curveball working very well, spotted the ball in and out and kept the hitters off balance. You just tip your hat to him."

Millwood also allowed a solo homer to Rich Aurilia in the sixth inning, the first career postseason round-tripper for the shortstop, but Mike Remlinger, Darren Holmes and John Smoltz finished off the final three innings to close out the victory.

  Barry Bonds   /   LF
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 210
Bats/Throws: L/L

More info:
Player page
Stats
Splits
Hit chart
Giants site
Remlinger started the seventh inning with a five-run lead and he, too, challenged Bonds, retiring him on a fly ball to left field. But facing Smoltz in the ninth, the slugger clubbed his second career postseason home run and ninth against the right-hander, the most he's hit off any pitcher.

Giants manager Dusty Baker believes that despite its lack of importance in the game, the home run was valuable for other reasons.

"Not only to score off John Smoltz, but also for Barry to hit a monster home run in the playoffs," he said of the 396-foot blast that traveled down the right-field line. "Hopefully this will get him going and us going."

But Bonds scoffed at that notion.

"I don't know what game you guys were watching," he said. "They had a big lead. If I hit three home runs, they still win it. It was the wrong [pitch] but not soon enough. We lost."

On the night, Bonds went 1-for-4 to give him two hits in eight at-bats over the first two games of the series, including a walk and a near-homer Wednesday that was robbed by Andruw Jones. Kent finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Thursday, making him 1-for-8 in the first two games.

Combine those numbers with the Giants' team ERA of 4.76, two key errors and one passed ball in the series and suddenly that split -- heading home to Pacific Bell Park -- doesn't look so bad.

"I keep saying we're going to win," said Benito Santiago, who predicted an upset earlier this week, "so don't leave me hanging now."

Josh Rawitch is a reporter for MLB.com and can be reached at jrawitch@sfgiants.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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BOX SCORE
Atlanta Braves 7, San Francisco Giants 3
 
San Francisco AB R H RBI BBSOLOBAVG
Lofton, CF 4010010.250
Aurilia, SS 4111011.222
Kent, 2B 4000021.125
Bonds, LF 4111010.250
Santiago, C 4010020.444
Snow, 1B 4121021.333
Sanders, RF 4010011.250
Bell, 3B 3000013.286
Rueter, P 1000010.000
Aybar, P 0000000.000
a-Feliz, PH 1000010.000
Witasick, P 0000000.000
b-Goodwin, PH 1000010.000
Rodriguez, P 0000000.000
Totals343730147 
 
a-Struck out for Aybar in the 6th. b-Struck out for Witasick in the 8th.
 
BATTING
HR: Snow (1, 2nd inning off Millwood, 0 on, 2 out), Aurilia (1, 6th inning off Millwood, 0 on, 2 out), Bonds (1, 9th inning off Smoltz, 0 on, 0 out).
RBI: Snow (3), Aurilia (3), Bonds (1).
2-out RBI: Snow, Aurilia.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Bell.
Team LOB: 4.
 
FIELDING
PB: Santiago (1).
DP: (Aurilia-Kent-Snow).
 
 
Atlanta AB R H RBI BBSOLOBAVG
Furcal, SS 4011021.333
Franco, J, 1B 3100110.125
Smoltz, P 0000000.000
Sheffield, RF 4000001.125
Jones, C, LF 3011100.333
Jones, A, CF 4010012.250
Lopez, J, C 4221002.375
Castilla, 3B 2211100.500
DeRosa, 2B 3222000.500
Remlinger, P 0000000.000
Holmes, P 0000000.000
Helms, 1B 0000000.000
Millwood, P 1000001.000
a-Lockhart, PH-2B 1000000.000
Totals29786347 
 
a-Grounded out for Millwood in the 6th.
 
BATTING
2B: DeRosa (1, Rueter).
3B: DeRosa (1, Rueter).
HR: Lopez, J (2, 2nd inning off Rueter, 0 on, 0 out), Castilla (1, 2nd inning off Rueter, 0 on, 0 out).
RBI: Jones, C (1), Lopez, J (3), Castilla (1), Furcal (1), DeRosa 2 (2).
2-out RBI: Jones, C.
S: Millwood.
GIDP: Lopez, J.
Team LOB: 2.
 
BASERUNNING
CS: Furcal (1, 2nd base by Rueter/Santiago).
 
San Francisco IP H R ER BBSOHRERA
Rueter (L, 0-1) 3.077621218.00
Aybar 2.00001200.00
Witasick 2.00000100.00
Rodriguez 1.01000000.00
 
Atlanta IP H R ER BBSOHRERA
Millwood (W, 1-0) 6.03220723.00
Remlinger 1.02000200.00
Holmes 0.21000100.00
Smoltz 1.11110416.75
 
Rueter pitched to 3 batters in the 4th.

Pitches-strikes: Rueter 62-32, Aybar 30-18, Witasick 19-12, Rodriguez 14-10, Millwood 72-54, Remlinger 21-17, Holmes 14-10, Smoltz 18-16.
Ground outs-fly outs: Rueter 6-1, Aybar 2-2, Witasick 4-1, Rodriguez 2-1, Millwood 5-6, Remlinger 0-1, Holmes 0-1, Smoltz 0-0.
Batters faced: Rueter 17, Aybar 7, Witasick 6, Rodriguez 3, Millwood 21, Remlinger 5, Holmes 3, Smoltz 5.
Inherited runners-scored: Aybar 1-1, Smoltz 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Paul Emmel. 1B: Angel Hernandez. 2B: Jerry Layne. 3B: Tim Tschida. LF: Ted Barrett. RF: Mike Reilly.
Weather: 78 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 6 mph, R to L.
T: 2:58.
Att: 47,167.
 
Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner